He’s Backkkk…

Yesterday was our first day back from spring break. The smiles, greetings, and hugs from my 8th graders made my return a lot easier, especially for a Monday morning.

From 8:00-8:10 (when the bell rings), many students hang out in my room with their friends. Sometimes they include me in their chats, sometimes I’m running around, sometimes they just chat among themselves. But yesterday, there was a lot of buzzing.

“He’s back!” my students announced to me.

So here’s a little back story… students often move away in the middle of the year. They even return sometimes later in the same school year. But since a lot of my students say they are moving or their friend is moving all the time, I don’t 100% believe it until it happens. Many of my students talk about moving but have no date, just an idea that it could happen.

So when I heard, “He’s back!” I responded with, “Wait, you saw him?!”

A resounding, “YES!” was the response from my students.

So of course, I went looking for “him.” He was my student in seventh grade and at the end of the school year, moved to Louisiana. We all thought we had said goodbye in June and probably wouldn’t see him again.

But here he is- back at our school. You better believe after I saw him in person, my next stop was the office. What’s his schedule? What ELA teacher does he have? When I saw his schedule, I told the office that wouldn’t work.

He needs to be with me. He needs something familiar to finish off his 8th grade year positively and successfully.

And that something. Well, that’s me.

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Day 31: Reflections

I had no idea what to expect as a first time slicer. I had zero expectations for myself and for this community. I thought maybe it would be nice to write each day. I also thought maybe I would regret this commitment. I had lots of thoughts jumbled in my head and not gonna lie, I was even a bit hesitant to bite the bullet.

But wow, I am SO glad I made the choice to write a little slice each day. As I’ve talked about in many of my posts, my current mom life/teacher life balance is taxing. Taking the time each day to write a little slice was often my me time and turned out to be quite therapeutic. Through these little slices, both from the perspective as reader and writer, I have learned so much about myself. I hope to continue this commitment to writing as this has basically turned into an online journal for me. While I admit that keeping up the daily writing is probably not going to happen, even weekly would be more than I did prior to this challenge.

And last, but not least at all… more like most importantly, this community. Thank you to each and every one of you. Many of you have offered support and encouragement. Many veteran parents have made me feel better on days where I am just burnt out. Many of you have inspired me, both as a mom and a teacher, to seek out those small moments in the day that make us smile. This positive and uplifting community is irreplaceable. So thank YOU for reading and writing alongside me.

Day 30: Why Did I Apologize?

Today’s slice piggybacks off yesterday’s post. After posting about my “Me Day” and reading the comments, I can’t believe I did what I did yesterday.

I apologized.

Why did I apologize for needing some time to myself? Why did I try to make excuses? Why was I so worried about judgment? Why was I spending time justifying how I spent my day? Why? Why? Why?

I think a lot of the apologetic tone comes from mom guilt. As a first time/relatively new mama, I still have those feelings of guilt that I should be with Kennedy 24/7. It’s not quite as strong as it was when she was an infant, but those feelings are still there.

I put so much pressure on myself to be 100% super mom and 100% super teacher that by this time in the school year, I am burnt out. Plain and simple. Thank goodness for spring break to give me a chance to recharge, reset, and take a little time to myself. This time is most likely the only thing preventing me from breaking.

So yes, I basically apologized yesterday. And no, I shouldn’t have done that. This new-ish mama needs to take advice from the veterans and realize it is okay. It is okay to need time to myself. It is okay to admit that I’m not always the perfect mom and/or teacher.

My current feelings definitely echo my sentiment from my slice on March 4th titled “The Balancing Act.” These feelings of not enough are part of a vicious cycle. But, like I said a few weeks ago, all I can do is my best. And I definitely won’t apologize for that.

Day 29: Me Day

Today, I took the time to do things for ME. That is something that really doesn’t happen all to often these days. #momlife #teacherlife

Here’s how my day went:

530am- up with Kennedy

7am- dropped Kennedy off at school

730am- picked up coffee and breakfast at my fave local spot

8-945am- began my spring project of switching my closet from winter to spring while also doing a closet purge to donate and send items in to thredUP

10am-noon- massage and facial

1-2:30pm- mani/pedi

3pm- picked up Kennedy

330-430pm- played outside

430-630pm- indoor play, dinner, reading with K

7pm- K down for the night

7-8pm- continue closet project from this morning (still have more work to do, but it’s only Friday!)

8pm- sat down on the couch to finally right this slice 😉

As I reviewed my “Me Day,” I realized a few things about myself. While I value self-care, I haven’t had the time in awhile so I packed in a bunch of appointments in one day. This day makes me come across as super high maintenance which I guess is partially true, but partially just my way of “spoiling” myself since we didn’t go on a vacation. The other big thing that stood out to me is that I am just now sitting down on my couch for the first time all day. I guess that’s not surprising either since this type of alone/self-care day doesn’t happen often so it was go, go, go all day long! I must say, I do feel pretty refreshed and ready to head back to work on Monday. It’s crazy what a little pampering can do!

Day 28: A GPS for My Glasses

Kennedy is napping. So, you know what that means. Cleaning up the kitchen from lunch, a few loads of laundry, and listening to my current read on Audible as I complete these tasks.

As I was cleaning up the toddler tornado, I realized something. Where are my glasses?!

I looked all over the kitchen- on the table and the counter. Nope. I checked the family room coffee table. Nope. I checked Kennedy’s play room- on her little table or on the carpet. Nope. I even checked the couch and chairs in case I threw them off haphazardly. Nope again. I checked the laundry room since I was just in there, too. Nope.

Just when I was about to give up, figuring I left them on Kennedy’s dresser when I put her down for her nap, I went BACK to the play room. Sure enough, there they sat on the very top of the shelves, far from sticky little fingers.

I swear, I feel like this happens 189020 times a day both at home and at school. Am I too young for glasses chains? Do they make cute ones for 30-somethings? Or maybe I just need a GPS for my glasses? Has that been invented yet? Maybe I’m on to something…

Day 27: Halfway Point

Since it is the halfway point of spring break today, I’m going to take a second to recap the activities/productive endeavors. Maybe seeing everything listed out will make me feel a little less bummed about time moving so quickly.

Spring Break 2019 (so far):

-Brookfield Zoo

-Dupage Children’s Museum

-lunch at Q BBQ

-Shedd Aquarium

-outdoor play

-Marie Kondo-ing a drawer or two

-return online purchases (that don’t fit either me or Kennedy)

-eye doctor appointment

-two different letters of recommendation for students written

-one book finished and another finished on Audible

I think that pretty much sums up the highlights. Just seeing it all listed out like that makes me feel SO much more productive! (Phew- it worked!) Here’s hoping the second half of break is just as fun-filled and productive as the first part!

Day 26: All the Things

We started the day at Shedd Aquarium and lastest maybe two hours. That’s a pretty generous approximation to be honest. But anyone who has a toddler (or has kids in general) knows that we can take what we can get sometimes. There were zero meltdowns and Kennedy pointed and said “fishhhhhh” about a million times. Again- winning!

Of course she was ready for a nap when we arrived home. So, what did I do during nap time? While listening to my new book (Internment by Samira Ahmed), I went full out Marie Kondo on my drawers. Yup, it finally happened. I’ve been curious about her folding method and I have a drawer of tshirts and tank tops that I can never seem to close. I also find that in the summer, since it’s full and disorganized, I end up wearing what I throw on top over and over. Now, since I folded everything so it stands up, I can see my pieces and they all fit- with room to spare! Crazy! I’m going to call that a super productive nap time.

When Kennedy woke up from her nap, it had warmed up to 50 degrees and the sun was shining. It has been such a longggggggg cold winter and we have been stuck inside so we HAD to take advantage and play outside. Everyone on our street had the same idea– perfect! It was nice to get a glimpse at what summer will be like this year with a toddler. All hands on deck and eyes on the back of my head will be my summer situation for sure. The little sneak peak of summer has me excited for all the adventures- and COFFEE- ahead!

So yes, today was a jumble of activities. And of course, I also did multiple loads of laundry and other miscellaneous tasks. But that’s mom life… doing allllllll the things.